Where To Focus After Your First 30 Days Of CrossFit
*Whether you’ve been doing CrossFit for 30 days or 2 years where you should focus will apply to you.
You’re squatting, deadlifting, and doing the shoulder press.
You’re starting to get more into the Olympic lifts, gymnastics, and other high level movements.
A lot of the time these moves aren’t feeling natural and the movement feels way off.
As a result you’re tweaking muscles here and there and it actually feels like your progress is sliding backwards.
Don’t worry it’s not just you. Everyone hits this point.
If you want to get past this stage you’re going to need to focus on the basics.
You’re going to re-evaluate every single one of your lifts, movement patterns, and technique you’re using.
You may think you got it down but you really don’t.
At this point only two things will happen.
You’re going to discover what’s holding you back and overcome it so you can get better.
Or completely ignore it, get injured, and quit doing CrossFit.
Too many times I see people in CrossFit going farther ahead than they should.
They skip key pieces of their foundation that they’re going to need.
Attempting kipping pull ups when they can’t even do 1 strict pull up.
Snatching heavyweight when they can’t even get into a decent overhead squat.
It’s like that one guy on your softball team who always swings for the home-run when he can’t even hit a single consistently.
This is going to take persistence, determination, and discipline.
It will feel repetitive at times and will take constant self-evaluation.
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
It’s going to be worth it because you’re going to come out the other side better than ever.
You’ll start to hear things like…
“Wow what a great snatch!”
“You make it look so effortless”
So… What should You be working on?
Your focus should be on mobility, positioning and technique drills, and body awareness.
Mobility will take the brunt of your time.
In most cases the time spent on it will increase instead of decrease.
You know what’s going to decrease though?
All day long we sit in awkward positions at work, watching TV, hunched over in our cars commuting, and it wreaks havoc on our mobility and muscles.
Sitting makes our hips tight so we can’t get into a decent squat.
Shoulders get tight from typing away on our keyboards making overhead movements difficult.
The main culprit of improper technique is simply because you lack the mobility and body awareness to perform it correctly.
Generally speaking you’re going to lack mobility in your hips, shoulders, thoracic spine, and ankles.
These 4 spots alone can take at least 15 minutes a day.
After 10+ years of doing CF I spend about 30 minutes a day 6x a week working my mobility.
In the beginning I felt like it was a hassle but after a week or two of focusing more time on mobility the improvements I saw in CF and everyday life make it worthwhile.
Positioning and Technique Drills
Where do your feet land when you do the split jerk?
Where is the muscle tension in your legs on the 1st pull of the snatch?
Did you even know there’s a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd pull in the snatch?
Are you finishing the deadlift with your back or your hips?
When you dip for the push press are you initiating with the hips or knees?
This list can go on and on.
The point is you need to know what these positions and movements feel like when you’re doing it right and when you do them wrong.
Learning all this is going to take practice on your end.
You’ll be using the PVC in the beginning and go through the movements step by step.
Trying to deadlift heavy weight with the wrong technique and back position can spell disaster for your spine.
These positions need to be automatic without even thinking about it so you can just grab the bar and go.
When you get these positions down you just leveled up and made your life easier.
Weight that you used to struggle on will feel like it floats in the air.
Mind Body Connection
All the super sexy advanced movements you see will take a great amount of coordination, agility, and body awareness.
You need to be able to know and feel what your body is doing at all times.
Can you tell the difference when you’re pulling with your arms and back vs driving through your legs in the snatch?
Do you know if you’re using your hips to drive the kettlebell in the swing or your lower back and arms?
Are you using your shoulders to drive the barbell up in the thruster before your hip even finishes extension?
Creating this connection will take time and effort and can only be done with practice.
Putting this all together
Ok so now what?
What should you focus on first?
Here’s what I recommend you do to get better.
Come in 10 minutes before class, grab a pvc, and practice a movement.
Break the movement down step by step and go slow.
Focus on what your body is doing and how it’s positioned.
Which muscles are you feeling it in? Where’s your balance?
If you’re unsure what positions to practice or where you should be feeling it; talk to your coach so they can guide you through step by step.
Mobility, mobility, and more mobility.
If you’re unsure which movements to do or how to do them just ask your Coach.
That’s why they are there.
You want to do this 5x a week for at least 15 – 20 minutes a day.
It doesn’t matter if it’s before or after the class.
Just get it done.
If you got any questions about any of this let me know.